November 26, Day 483
I can’t get up. I’m truly exhausted, so
I decide to take my time getting up this morning. After all, I’m a volunteer!
Text Bontle and tell her I’m taking my time coming to the office today.
Sip on iced coffee and make breakfast.
Water the plant babies.
Olive comes by and I give him some love and pick the ticks off of him.
Pack up my backpack for work and put yesterday’s lunch of leftover veggie chili back in the bag.
Cover my body in sunscreen.
Walk to Catherine’s house to take care of Dawgie. Olive tries to join me and I tell him no, and he actually listens to me for once.
Feed and play with Dawgie.
Ride my bike to work. When I arrive, Bontle has a bunch of questions about things I don’t have answers to. So, we decide to make a list of the questions and figure out together who we can ask to get answers.
Work through lunch and eat my chili.
Organize the information I’ll be teaching in the production class lesson. I’m really stressed about making sure they’re done on time!
Design the flyer for our District World AIDS Day.
Write the agenda for the Men’s Sector meeting.
At 4 pm I realize I have to go to Mokala to pick up a few things. It’s a few miles away and I’m riding my bike, so I should leave now now!
Pack up my things and ride my bike to Mokala to buy cheese, veggies and bacon.
Swing by Sefalana next door and wait for someone to help me. Stand and wait and eventually someone comes to help.
Strap all the goodies to the back of my bike and ride home. Olive is there, so I administer belly rubs.
Sit for a minute, change my clothes. Drink water. Man, I’m so dehydrated! It feels like no matter how much water I drink it’s never enough.
At 7 pm, I go to see Dawgie quickly. Olive shows up and wants to come along again, I tell him no, it’s dangerous.
This time he’s determined to find out why I’m cheating on him with another dog and won’t listen to me.
He secretly follows me again, hiding behind trees all the way.
I see Dawgie and we play outside for a bit. Suddenly, he flips out.
I look across the street and see that Olive is hiding in the bushes watching us.
Olive reveals himself and walks to the gate.
Dawgie jumps up and they are nose and nose and they growl at one another. Dawgie goes to attack and Olive jumps into my arms in fear. He’s a little quick to jump in my opinion. It seems like he’s making a statement to Dawgie that I belong to him.
Either way, I try to shoo away Olive because Dawgie is ginormous and will tear him to pieces otherwise.
Finally get Dawgie settled while Olive waits in a nearby yard.
Finish with Dawgie. It’s getting dark and it’s not safe for me to be walking in the dark so I should rush home.
As I leave the yard, Dawgie is so upset that I’m leaving that he chases after me and then jumps over the gate. He races down the road after me.
I bring him back and put him back in the yard. Each time, every time I leave Dawgie crawls over the gate. We do this about five times.
What do I do? Dawgie is clearly determined not to let me leave.
It’s now 8 pm and dark out. I decide to take some of the aluminum siding on the ground in Catherine’s yard and build a raised fence that Dawgie can’t jump over.
But honestly, he’s so freaking big that it won’t do any good. He just discovered he’s a big boy and can jump to follow me no matter how I leave. I’m trapped!
Catherine has been very clear with me that she doesn’t want Dawgie coming to my house.
“He will never come home if he goes to your house!” She always says.
So, I know that’s not an option. I have to find a way to leave without him following me. Usually if you leave in a car a dog won’t follow. But I don’t have a car.
The neighbors are getting a kick out of this dilemma and we brainstorm together.
“He does not want you to leave!” The neighbor says.
We eventually decide that I will sit in the backyard until Dawgie falls asleep and the sneak out.
Sit and wait, and wait, and wait.
It’s now been an hour and Dawgie isn’t asleep. Every time I move he is alert. Dogs are mostly nocturnal here and sleep through the heat during the day. Clearly Dawgie is no exception.
I text Catherine, no response.
I text my friend Nikki in Louisiana who has three big dogs and ask for help. She says her dogs love mashed potatoes. Maybe I can make mashed potatoes for him and put him inside?
It’s now late at night and I haven’t had a proper night’s sleep in days. I feel like I’m going to cry. I just want to go home and relax.
I decide that the only solution to this problem is to lock Dawgie inside the house for the night. I know that could be a big cultural offense here because dogs generally are not allowed inside homes. But if Dawgie is running the neighborhood all night long, someone will definitely steal him. He doesn’t have a collar and is a big, beautiful dog.
What other choice do I have?
Go inside and put away anything that could be destroyed by a dog. Then, I lure Dawgie inside with treats. At first he refuses to come inside because he knows he’s not allowed. But then he comes in and is happy.
Lock the doors, walk home. My head is buzzing. What a week! Everything seems like it’s so difficult lately.
Catherine responds and I tell her about Dawgie. She is worried that Dawgie will ruin something in the house, so we decide that her boyfriend will take over handling Dawgie since he has a car and can drive away without him following.
Ten minutes later, her boyfriend comes to my house. I hand him the keys.
Phew! Problem solved.
Write and sip wine for a while. In bed by 11:30, I have to be up early for a meeting tomorrow.